So you’re ready to make some changes to your home and have decided to get some outside help.  Over the years we’ve worked with lots of people and the smoothest projects tend to be where our clients did some homework (pun intended) before meeting with us.

Here are some simple steps you can take before calling a designer:

1.  Write it down

Taking the time to write down your thoughts is a great way to really hone in on what’s important to you.  It also tends to reduce the tendency for ‘scope creep’.  It’s easy to get carried away while dreaming of what your  home could be.  Creating a written priority list helps to keep you and your designer on the same page.  It’s not uncommon to have a wishlist bigger than your budget.  Your designer will better be able to help you meet your objectives if they are well-defined.

2.  Create an Ideabook

It’s super helpful to a designer to understand your design style.  Creating an ‘ideabook’  at houzz.com or a board on Pinterest is an easy way to convey what you like.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and indeed it’s true.  Not a techie?  Go analog and tear out pages of home design magazines and save them in a file folder.

3.  Visit showrooms or home tours

Maybe you have a hard time relating a photo to the 3-D world.  Hit some supplier showrooms or home tours and bring your camera (make sure taking photos is allowed before you start snapping!)  Seeing, touching and feeling real stuff can help give you a sense of possibilities.  Remember to be respectful of the staff’s time – they’re trying to earn a living.

Doing these 3 simple things will save you time, money and sanity when remodeling or building a home.  You’ll have a huge head start when the real planning begins.